Sunday, December 15, 2013

I'm back in time for Christmas!!


Remember me!  I used to blog a lot!  It's been a rough couple of months and while I've put on a smiling face for most people, the truth is I was afraid to blog.  You see I waited 32 years to find Mr. Wright and we've had four wonderful years together.  He was recently diagnosed with Leukemia and he's doing AMAZING but I tend to have pity parties when I'm off by myself typing and I didn't want this blog to turn into that.  We are so blessed!!! We've had so much help financially, spiritually, and emotionally but I still have off days.  Days I'm mad that we are spending our third year of marriage and our daughter's first year fighting an illness that no one should have to deal with.  Cancer blows.  But Mark knows in his heart that God has plans for him and they are long term plans.  They've been chatting you see, so I am hanging on to the fact that this is just an ugly bump in the road that's meant to teach us to appreciate each other more.

Now all that being said:  the diet and financial makeover this blog was started to document were blown all to hell.  (Please pardon the expression)  Every pound Mark has lost, I've found.  Urg. and let's not talk about finances until some other day.  I want this first one back to be upbeat!  LOL!!

So now that I've updated you let's get around to today's lesson shall we.

I want to get back to this blog and back to me.  Mark is fighting the battle of his life so the least I can do is try to get healthy along side him right?  And I want to take good care of Ellie which brings me to my most recent ponderance.  This one deals with my mental health. Here it is:

I've spent a lot of time beating myself up over the past weeks because of all the ways I'm not an awesome mom. 

Ellie's first year is drawing to a close.  She will be 11 months old on Christmas. She has only had one pro photo shoot (I've shamelessly forced Aunt Lu to do the rest pro bono), her baby book isn't filled out all the way, I didn't send fancy baby announcements (just thank you cards with her pic since she was early), I did not do a single Christmas card this year let alone one heralding our little angels first Christmas, I did not manage to find that perfect Christmas stocking she can hang every year her whole life just like mine, there will not be mountains of gifts under the tree (in fact she only has a few-a couple big and a couple little), and the list goes on and on and on all the way down to the bottom where I lament that she only has about 3 pairs of shoes that fit currently (nevermind that she can't walk yet).  Anyone else get where this is going... 

Never fear friends!!! I did figure it out and it boils right down to the real meaning of Christmas!!!

You see, I thought a little more and realized she's fed, clothed, has a huge family (both blood related and adopted family) that loves her, she's generally clean, she's at church every time we are as some habits should start early, we willingly drive a few extra miles each day to take her to the best day care on the planet, and she's loved more than words could EVER say. Hmm... Maybe I'm not a bad mom after all and the only screw up I've made is worrying about not being able to keep up with the Jones'. Why do we worry about that anyway?  Who are these illusive Jones people?  The families I know with that last name don't demand I put on a fancy show of wealth and status for them.  So why do I keep worrying that I haven't done all the right things to make her childhood perfect?? I HAVE NO IDEA!!

In fact, I should be a little ashamed.  I have forgotten what's truly important: The reason for the season was born in a dirty barn surrounded by farm animals and all that comes with them after his dirt poor parents were turned away from a local inn.  He didn't have fancy clothes or all the right toys.  And since He grew up to save all mankind I'd say HE didn't turn out so bad:) So there's hope for Ellie yet!! :)

So my plan is to enjoy this Christmas!!! It will be perfect just as it is because it will be perfectly full of memories flawed or not that are all ours and full of love for a special little girl, her wonderful siblings, and our great big wacky family!!! Forget the other stuff!!

Tune in next time as I really plan to stick with this again!!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Finding Balance

Greetings gang!!

I apologize for being out of the loop for a bit!  I took a little time off to think and reorganize us a little mentally, so I can focus on the important things in life like Ellie and providing a healthy home for her and making sure we have time for ourselves and people we care about. 

After my recent freak out about not having time to spend with Ellie, I'm trying to find balance.  Until football season is over, I need to find more I can do with her physically at home to exercise.  We've been up and playing or playing on the floor much more actively so Mommy gets a work out as well but it's not quite enough yet.  Now that she's sitting up contentedly and entertaining herself I want to try going back to my elliptical and videos more often.  After football... I want some gym time. And maybe I can get the now slightly fizzled Knights Athletic Club back up and running.  I think I will feel less guilty with Mark home with Ellie.  I just want her to be with a parent. True, I want to be with her AS MUCH as possible but I'll take me time much easier if Daddy has her.  Not to mention, he won't have my after school madness so he can leave right away to get her.  Translation... cut out my meetings and travel time during the worst times of day to get across town and I'll have exactly the same amount of time I do now with Ellie at home.  Who knows, it might be more!  :)

And while I'm still working on figuring out what works for me, I still feel a lot better and Mark has lost over 25 pounds!!! (I kind of hate him a little.. how come boys can lose weight so fast?? LOL!!!) Seriously... I'm SOOOOOOOO proud of him! 

Now the other part of balance.  I've been griping constantly about not having time with Ellie and I think I've confused people. I still want to be a normal girl.  I've felt left out a few times lately or been very jealous of girls days out. And so I voiced upset about getting my feelings hurt in a particular instance to an uninvolved friend, who then suggested that maybe the leaver outterer in question just thought I'd want more time with Ellie since that's all I've talked about lately making me think the whole thing was really my fault. So I have to find a better balance.  I have to be able to spend time with Ellie and take at least tiny bits of time for me every once in awhile. I still need girl time and Mark and I still need at least a little grown up time.  I just hope I can figure out how to balance my tone in time to prevent our elimination from all the holiday party lists.  LOL!  Just another first time mom conundrum. 

So peeps - what do you do to find balance wherever you are in your life right now?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Fat and Happy Trumps Skinny and Stressed

Hello gang!

Well I took everyone's advive and stayed a few times for workouts at school or at therapy.  When finishing I would feel better for sure!! However...

Yup. Here it comes. I'm going to stop staying after school. Go ahead...reel at me in outrage. I've got a plan and I'll get to it.  Stand by.

Today we had zumba and then yoga.  Both were awesome.  By the time I got ready to leave I was feeling relaxed and at ease.  ...aaaaaaand then I saw my watch!  Holy crap it's 4pm!  So I headed out ASAP.  Traffic in Clarksville is awful on a good day at an odd hour.  But 4pm on a weekday... RIDICULOUS, especially with our never ending road issues.  Today there were issues everywhere so all three routes to my daughter's daycare were jam packed.  It took me nearly an HOUR to get there.  A FREAKING HOUR!!!!

By the time I finally arrived I was bawling and all that relaxing was for naught.  My back was in knots, my head hurt, and all I wanted was Ellie.  I charged into her room at daycare, scooped her up, and just stood there hoping Ms. Eden wouldn't think I'd lost my mind.  She and her assistant for the afternoon assured me that they think I'm awesome and informed me that my daughter is an angel like no other and they'd love a roomful of her. I put her in her car seat and off we went.  Another hour later and we were finally home and I was in more knots from all the time we'd lost while being stuck in the stupid car.  Thankfully she cheered me up by being all smiles and playing for a bit before bananas, bath, and bedtime.

I CANNOT continue to leave school that late as long as we are committed to leaving Ellie where she is at.  I am going to have a stroke if I have too many more days like this one.  I was miserable for two hours trying to get my beautiful angel home and have a teeny bit of time with her. 

So what's the solution?  Well I have a perfectly good eliptical, a nice neighborhood for walks, and a million wii workout games/videos.  I will start working out with Ellie when I get home.  I know this will be hard for me as there's no accountabilty at the house but I have to do this.  I literally was so stressed today I made myself sick and this is far from the first time that's happened in the last couple of weeks. I won't feel guilty about the boys being in their kennels extra time and I may actually find time to fold laundry or dust something when I can stop beating myself up for not having Ellie time.  To tell you how deprived I've felt lately, the kid is currently asleep across me and I'm typing around her.  I call it mommy multitasking and that's what workouts will have to be too!

And before anyone asks... we have considered and are considering other care options for Ellie that are closer to work.  But if you've never been to the Giving Tree there is NO PLACE like it.  Ellie is so happy with Diane and Eden so while we have one or two places that at least are competitive with the Tree awesomeness, they don't have openings and I WILL NOT take my daughter away from caregivers that have become like family unless I see a place we may be able to repeat that connection.

So there it is.  I'm a big fat quitter and I'm ok with it.  Now I'm on my own.  Here we go!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Conundrum

Long Time No See!!!

I know... I'm a week behind!  But we are back at work and I haven't had two seconds in a row that I haven't hogged for Ellie.  Speaking of which, she's about konked out so I'm going to keep this short.  I have night time cuddles to nab.

As school has started I'm eating very well as I don't have time to eat crap.  In fact I don't have time for anything.  There in lies the conundrum. What do I give up?

Clearly Ellie is NOT an option.  My mom guilt is killing me slowly and painfully.  If we don't work there's no house, no cars, no food, and no insurance (what little good it does me...grrrr).  I realize that's just stuff but it's REALLY important stuff.  It's the we'd prefer not to raise our daughter in a cardboard box under the interstate kinda stuff.  But not seeing her for 8-10 hours a day is TORTURE!  As soon as I leave school all I want is to have Ellie and not put her down.  Poor thing is never going to learn to crawl if I don't get myself under control.  But there's so much going on.  So find me a solution to this one:

We've started the Knights Athletic Club and I'm so excited about it but I haven't been able to go yet.  Monday Ellie had a check up and today I had SGA and a Physical Therapy appointment.  Tomorrow I can stay but then I wouldn't leave school until 4, we wouldn't get home from me picking her up until 5, and we'd have to leave so I could drop her off at 5:30 at Bridget's so I can go to our finance class.  We won't get done until about 8 and then she'll be asleep.  Thursday I have faculty meeting and then physical therapy so I won't get Ellie until at least 5pm.  I feel like I'm losing all of my time with her.  I don't want to work out tomorrow!!! I want to take the only day I can leave on time this week, race to daycare, and get her as fast as possible so I get a few hours of actual play time before she's sound asleep. So where's the balance?  What do I do???

Sure, once school gets going things will even out a little... I hope.  But I have 5.5 weeks to get ready for homecoming.  So it's still going to be busy for awhile.  And this week we are supposed to do the meet and greet at church with people interested in small groups.  We are to begin leading one in just a couple of weeks so that's ANOTHER night with no Ellie if we start it.  Not to mention that I'll have to get her, get home, get her to a sitter, get the house prepared each week, and get dinner set out because of poor Mark has at least another 12 weeks of football practice.

So do I go with my gut and put off the everyday workouts a little longer until things even out and go get my girl or do I stay and exercise?  Do we go ahead and do the small group because it helps our church and provides us a community at church or do we stay just us a bit longer?  For me it's Ellie and Mark EVERY SINGLE time.  I DO NOT want to stay late and work out tomorrow.  I do not want to give up anymore nights with my family.  But how will I ever get in better shape physically or spiritually?   So there you go folks.  This week's conundrum.  Aaaaaand... go.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Knights Athletic Club

What's up peeps!!

I'm so excited!!!!! Wanna know why? No?  Too bad... I'm tellin ya anyway!  If you weren't curious you shouldn't have opened the blog.  Muahahahaha! (that's my typed evil laugh... I love it and probably overuse it in emails and facebook posts but I can't help it.)

So after being very, VERY disappointed in my weight after all the changes we've made to our eating, I told you I wanted to start a group at school to work out and be accountable to each other.  I figure more moving=weight loss.  I talked with some other teachers, sent out a school wide email, and.... the response was crazy!!! People are very excited about our game plan!

Here's our schedule:
     Monday - Yoga (taught by one of my fellow faculty members)
     Tuesday - Walking - laps in the building
     Wednesday - Zumba (and other fitness videos as we need a change)
     Thursday - Walking or short videos after faculty meeting
     Friday - Greenway walking if weather allows.

Brilliant elements of the plan:
1. The club will meet in my room so I can't possibly avoid being there!!!
2. We have something going EVERY day! Meetings and other malarkey can't be an excuse!!
3. Yoga and Zumba are FUN so getting started will be easier because I want to do it!
4. By not joining an overcrowded gym like the Clarksville Athletic Club, and working out with friends, I will seriously limit the number of people who will see me embarrassing the crap out of myself! And furthermore, since they're friends, if they laugh at me I can point and laugh right back and that makes it more fun because we're all relaxed and having a good time getting healthier!!!

We don't start for another week so it will be a bit before I can tell you how it's going.  So next week's blog will likely be focused on eating and money.  If the government doesn't get their act together it may just be a list of all the stuff we're selling! LOL!! Seven weeks with NO SIGN of unemployment!! Really!?!?!  Thank heavens we are back to real checks for next months bills!  So proud of Mark by the way! He's doing a great job at school and fitting in really well.  :) 

Ok... until next time!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Doctors, Vacations, and Unemployment... oh my!

Hi everyone!

Sorry it's been awhile. I want you to know I really appreciate all your snacking advice last week and I've taken it to heart and am putting a lot of it into practice!!!  This week is more of a general update than my usual witty repartee.  But you'll want to read to the end (or skip to it if you're bored) as there's a monster at the end of this book. (Sorry... Sesame Street reference was irresistible!)

We had a chance to escape before school started and we went for it!!! A weekend with friends in Illinois (Thanks Mom and Dad for the free baby and dog sitting!) where we got to do a LOT for a very little was much needed, and we had an amazing time with the Barons and Wiemers.  It's so much fun when you can hang out with couples you are very different from and a lot alike at the same time!  It makes for good conversation and easy going relaxation.

Then it was off to stay with Holly for a few days before she starts her junior year.  This is probably the last chance we will have to see her until possibly fall break or Christmas:(  So we planned a sneak attack!  She had NO idea we were coming so when we woke her up and she saw Ellie she freaked out and it was awesome.  Since they now live in Pensacola, Holly was able to help with an Ellie first, and we took her to the beach!  It was GREAT!!!

I set us a budget before we left and we did REALLY well.  Only three meals out the entire week we were gone and one was paid for by the cabin owner we rented from on our wine trail weekend.  We were super cheap.  I may never vacation carelessly again.  Mark losing his job has showed me exactly how much money we waste. We've done VERY well on a tight budget this summer and thanks to some help from some friends we have survived with no unemployment.  Not because Mark didn't apply by the way...But because our fantastic government is SO FREAKIN SLOW!!!!!  6 weeks and still no check, even though Mark has faithfully certified every week that he has no job.  ARGH!! If they don't come across soon, August will be a Ramen noodles and cancel the cable kind of month but I think we can make it.  Do you notice they never fail to pay themselves, but people can lose their homes and not eat waiting for assistance!  It's maddening!!! Don't you agree?

And last but not least, getting healthy:  Well, vacation was a disaster!!! Whataburger is the devil and was one of our meals out.  Bad, bad, very bad epic fail!!! There may also have been some puppy chow and m&m's consumed on the wine trail.  All in moderation but nonetheless... not good!  I saw Dr. Vanderveen this week and he was pleased with my blood work and in spite of vacation, was also surprised there wasn't more weight loss.  When I admitted that exercise and I still weren't close personal friends, we talked about why since I used to love it.  For those of you that don't know, I have degenerative disc disease in my lower back.  When I'm uncomfortable, I don't want to work out.  In fact I hate it.  And when my back bothers me, I don't sleep.  Solutions: I start physical therapy for my back on Monday.  He feels we can get it under control and I'll enjoy being more active because I won't be afraid of the ouch.  Solution 2: Gotta get moving! I know how to fix my eating, and other than speed bumps on vacation, that's going well.  Snacking has been helped by peppermints and we are beginning to eliminate the crap from the house, we avoided buying new crap today (step away from the carbs), and as soon as payday hits I'll be stocking up on carrots and yogurt (crunch and sweet).  I am going to attempt to get a fitness club going at work to keep me motivated and if that doesn't work... back to Curves I shall go!

And last but not least in the news front.... How will we survive beyond August?  Easy: MARK GOT A JOB!!!!!!!!! He was offered several but accepted the position that would allow us the most time together as a family.  It will be a pay adjustment but we can do it!!! He will be the Media Assistant and Assistant Football Coach at... wait for it... Kenwood High School.  Translation for my fellow Knights - He's the new Huff!  Woot!!! We are THRILLED!!!!

So that's all for now friends.  I'll let you know in a few days how the physical therapy is going!  Thanks for reading!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bring the Advice

Hi everyone!!!

This will be a short one.  Things are still on the right track.  But I'm going to ask for your advice at the end so get ready!!

I have a doctor's appointment coming up in the next two weeks and I'm scared to see the weight.  I don't know if I've lost any and it's driving me nuts.  I don't think it's much but everyone tells me I look better and a little thinner.  I suppose that means I am achieving my goal of healthier.  :)  I was told it shows most in my face.  Healthier is what I really want so I'll take it!  Mark on the other hand is the incredible shrinking man!!! He's OBVIOUSLY thinner.  I'm so proud of him!! :) :)

I'm just ready for some more dramatic change because I don't see it yet.  I thought I would have an easier time in the summer but that's so not true!!! At school, I'm on a routine and I can't just eat if I'm bored because I'm NEVER bored.  That's still a temptation for me this summer. In fact when you're bigger it tends to be an issue all the time.  It's not that chubby folks eat a bunch of crap, but I know there are some like me who eat when they're happy, eat when they're sad, eat at a party (it's polite), eat when you're bored, eat because you're in a hurry, you're on a road trip, you passed an amish person on rumspringa... you get the idea.  So I suppose this week I've noticed myself fighting that battle.  We are eating so much less at dinner and so much less in general but I'm still so tempted to oversnack.  Any advice on that battle?  I used to cross stitch or read when I was tempted to snack but with Ellie that's harder to do.  She gets my attention and I LOVE giving it to her.  However it's very easy to snack and pay attention to her and a great way to stay awake so I can pay attention to her. Lol!!  So gang... advise away!!! I need all I can get! And Mom's on the go: Any suggestions for exercises I can do while watching Ellie (besides walking in the 900degree heat)?  :)

In other news:  This week's favorite light and healthy meal (as advertised on facebook) was Eggplant Parmesan.  My husband sliced two scrubbed eggplants (peels on) like an accordion, lightly salted them (he used garlic salt for flavor) and let them weep for a half hour or so before patting them and setting them in a casserole dish that had a jar of tomato basil marinara.  In between each slice he layered part skim mozzarella and then put it in to bake until the eggplant was tender at 400degrees.  Then he pulled it out and put a small amount of bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese on the top and put it back in the oven to brown up.  It was DELICIOUS!!!

Favorite cheap healthy find of the week: Muller Corner greek yogurt.  They have yummy fruit and granola varieties.  SO GOOD!!!

Ok friends, let that advice role and I'll tell you what I'm going to try next week!  Thanks for staying tuned!!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Follow the Signs (or Why Squash is of Satan)

Ok.  So this is an aside from my usual posts about weight loss.  This has been a very educational mom week.

Three days ago we started Ellie on Butternut Squash.  The pediatrician has recommended it EVERY TIME we've been in the last few months like a broken record.  "Try sweet potatoes, green beans, and butternut squash."  Just goes to show, every kid is different and our kid is right there in the broken mold category.  Turns out butternut squash isn't good.  It isn't nice.  It's the devil. Yup, satan incarnate.

I am SPOILED ROTTEN!! And I don't just mean by Mark.  We all know I wake up every morning and put on my shiny tiara.  It happens.  It's his fault.  Somewhere in our past I used to be a totally independent human being.  Now... I can't even make coffee and I have no idea where a single pan is in this entire house.  I wish for things and they appear. (true story... and yes, I know EXACTLY what a sweet deal and great hubby I have and I plan to keep him so hands off ladies. :)

So Ellie, being 50% her father, has had the good sense thus far to spoil me as well.  While she has had some respiratory funk off and on; she's super easy to please, she's not a fit thrower as of yet, and she rarely if ever spits up or makes a mess.  ...until squash.  Did I mention squash is the devil yet?

This is a lesson in 'follow the signs, they're everywhere'.  Girlfriend has been spitting up the last couple of days.  Nothing serious.  First day was after playing in her bouncy. Yesterday was right after some bouncing around with friends.  Once was after a fit of coughing - see afore mentioned respiratory funk.  She and her dad have both had sinus issues with the funky humidity of the last week. So I thought nothing of it.  So she had a few cradle cap spots back!  That happens.  And it was hot so I'm sure the ones from around her mouth were from chewing on her hands and from her paci in the hot outsideness. Um... nope.  I am never going to be super mom.  I have friends who have that title firmly in the bag.  But I do strive to be really good mom so I feel like an idiot for not FOLLOWING THE SIGNS!!!

Today after squash she didn't spit up.  She projectiled... everything... and I'm pretty sure it was all three days of squash.  3 hours later... hello all 6 ounces of bottle and all of last week's formula. She and I have had two full wardrobe changes this evening and my lazy boy is still recovering. My child does not throw up!  What could this madness be???

In a typical blind panic, (please note Mark was calm and cool, and while he went along with it I'm sure he rolled his eyes when I turned to leave the room) I called the nightime urgent care answering service for our pediatrician to which they responded... "She threw up?  Anything else?  Fever? Anything?"  They very patiently explained that 3 days of a food she clearly wasn't tolerating have led to a sour stomach. So now she's sleeping it off, we are armed with pedialyte and fresh changes of clothes, and hoping for no more yuckiness tonight.  Butternut squash is the devil.

They suggested we reintroduce it to her in a couple of weeks to see if it induces more projectile throwing up before we rule it out.  Ummm... nope.  Thanks though.

So to make a long story short, whatever you do in life, DON'T IGNORE THE SIGNS.

Tune in later this week for the regular weight loss/budget portion of the blog!  :)

Thanks, as always, for reading my little rants and raves!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Epic Fail, Big Triumph

Hi Everyone!!!

We are still eating way less and I'm hoping to report big progress in health land soon in the form of looser clothes!! This however, will not be that week.  We had a bit of an epic fail.  Forgive me Father for I have been to the drive thru.

We were on the road, we were sleep deprived, I was stressed, Ellie was in the back, we drove separately, and I didn't want to get out to go in an actual store.  It happened.  It seems as if every week I uncover a different challenge that requires a small or large (depends on the week) lifestyle change.  Two weeks ago it was modifying portions that we fixed, then it was the
acknowledgement that we can't use our kids and other stuff as excuses and we should keep the junk out of the house, this week it was keeping the junk out of the travel.

Last week's problem and this week's have the same solution:  BETTER PLANNING!

I need to think before we travel and pack snacks!!! Good ones!! So I can't use being tired and not wanting to get out with Ellie as an excuse.  We also need to plan meals and snacks at home ahead of schedule.  That way we can't use being tired and not wanting a long trip to the store to interfere with Ellie as an excuse. (See the pattern there?) For the solution see the Big Triumph section in a couple of paragraphs.  :)

The thing is, I said from the beginning this isn't about getting skinny quick, it's about a life overhaul.  This is not a sprint, it's a marathon.  I want SO BADLY to be like some of my friends and post that we lost 5-10 pounds this week or that we have found a magic diet plan that is peeling off the weight but I can't.  It would solve nothing for us because we are creatures of habit. I'm also not using a scale so I can't give you pounds.  I would get frustrated by the slow progress.  I can't do that to myself.  I've lost a lot of weight quickly a hundred times and it always comes back because I go back to old me.  NOT THIS TIME!!! We are living in the land of see a small problem and fix it and move on to the next small problem.  It's kind of like Dave Ramsey's debt snowball for getting healthy.  Small changes lead to big results OVER TIME!  I just wish I was more patient.  Weight loss surgery and all of the diets out there are so tempting, because my brain sees those as easy fixes (even though I know they aren't... especially surgery... not even close in fact).  But our numbers from our bloodwork are pretty decent and any that are high are fixable through diet.  Those perceived 'quick fixes' are not necessary and would lead to a much different kind of life change than I want to make.  We have a LONG way to go.  I just hope you'll keep reading so I'll stay honest with myself because I'm putting our progress out there!  :) So tell me if I'm boring and I'll tell knock knocks or something! :)

So what's the Big Triumph? Planning on a budget, baby!
If you shop at Kroger and you have not downloaded the Kroger app... DO IT!!! So awesome!! While Mark is job hunting (thanks for all the prayers - keep em coming!!), we are on a STRICT budget.  I used the Dave Ramsey technique and got cash from the bank for this month's groceries.  Once it's gone, we are done.  So how do we stretch it?  First we used the Kroger app to download some KILLER coupons!  Do you know every few days they offer something totally free??? It's awesome!!! And I don't have to carry or clip.  I have no excuse not to save.  The coupons are loaded on my card and are used automatically!  Then there's the weekly ad.  You can go through the ad and add stuff to your grocery list with one touch.  So we marked stuff on our phones that we knew we could use to build multiple meals.  Then we went to the store and went department by department looking at what we marked as on sale on our list.  Coffee creamer, a butternut squash to make Ellie's baby food, and two diet cokes were all we bought that wasn't on sale!!! Woot!! We stayed well under budget and only spent about 15 extra minutes in the store!  We have meals for weeks in the freezer and fridge and spent 100 dollars and NONE of it was quick fix, junk food crap!  I'm super siked!!!

So that's it happy campers.  Tune in next time for more info on how our budget and careful planning for food is going!  While we are not perfect we are making progress!!!!  Wish us luck as we plow on!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Tiny Plate Triumph!!

Hi everyone!!!

So we are one week in to the tiny plate experiment and it's AWESOME!!! To recap: Mark and I decided a week ago to put away our big dinner plates and only eat off our salad/dessert plates. We already notice a huge difference in what we can eat.  We are full very quickly!  I think in the long run this will make a big difference!!  My stomach is literally shrinking and I know it.  We went to a BBQ Saturday and I ate less than I used to at those events and was still MISERABLE!!! I'm learning very quickly that smaller is better and just because it tastes good, I don't HAVE to eat it.

Problem we still face: What we eat.  Food is still a reward and we indulge too much.  Holly has been here this week from FL which, now that she's going home, I realize has been the perfect excuse for candy, and ice cream, and pizza - Oh my!! Yes we've only had tiny servings of the bad stuff but we've had it. 

So what's the next thing I aim to conquer? Changing our way of thinking.  We've changed our way of eating now we have to change our way of thinking about food.  It needs to be nutrition.  We love summer veggies and summer fruits so our choices right now need to be full of them.  We feel better after we have them and feel miserable after we have pizza so why choose pizza?  Convenience has to stop being an excuse!!  I can see in our actions this week that we are still to hung up on that one.

So that's what we will conquer now. It's a tough time to do it because when I'm stressed I eat for comfort and Mark and I are both worried about what the future holds.  Don't get me wrong... we know God has the job situation under control, but we are still human and we still worry when we don't mean to.  Especially when things don't go our way.

In financial land, it's bill time and I'm just trying not to think about it! LOL!! Dave Ramsey's class has been AMAZING!  I highly recommend it to everyone.  So I'm going to follow his plan this month and pay what we can pay and draw a line.  Anything below the line doesn't get paid and that's just it.  But I think, thanks to some VERY generous surprises, we will be just fine this month and nothing will be below the line.  I'll let you know next week.  But we got a couple surprises in the mail to help with expenses and apparently someone paid next week's daycare bill!  It's unbelievable!!! God has blessed us immensely and everytime I start to wallow I need to remember that! Our family is fairly healthy overall, we are all able to see each other on a regular basis... just that is so much more than so many others we care about are able to say and we CANNOT forget it!!!

Until next week!!! We've changed our portion so now we change our plan!!! 

Thanks for reading as always!!!! :) :)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Long time no see

Greetings! (Hold on... this one's longer as there's LOTS to tell!!!)

Well there's A LOT going on.  I am still epically failing at getting thinner but I feel a ton better and Mark and I have made some big decisions and startling realizations this week. 
      1. It's not that we eat a ton of crap - we just eat too much (we seem to figure this out weekly but
          what does one do about it?
      2. To fix the above we have finally decided to take some OLD advice from diets long since faded
          from popularity. Ready?  Are you sure? Wait for it...

          We are going to stop using our dinner plates.

Yup, you heard my typing correctly.  No more dinner plates.  Mark has been very creative and healthy in his food prep on our super limited budget and we've enjoyed salmon patties, grilled veggies in all available yummy varieties, smoked pork  (thanks Salamy's!), breakfast for dinner (eggs with shrooms and a little cheese and bacon - my fave), and it's all been scrumptious!  So what are we doing wrong (this week's minor episodes of stress sweets aside)? We have the same complaint every time after wolfing down our healthy yummy goodness. Wanna guess?  Yup. "Man, I ate too much!  Why do we always do that?"  The answer.  Are you sure you're ready again?  This one's really profound.... It's because it's there!!!! It takes several minutes to feel full and since I'm busy inhaling my husband's delicious cooking... by the time I know I've eaten too much and could have put half of that food up for tomorrow, it's already in my belly!

Solution: Salad plates.  We are now going to eat dinner on the teeny delightfully cute mini versions of our dinner plates.  We've decided that we'll eat, set the plates down, and if after a few minutes we still feel hungry we'll go get a little bit more of the healthiest available dinner choice.

Stay tuned to see if our evil plan works!

In other news:  Let's not discuss finances.  That's an ugly word.  Let's instead talk about blessings.  Mark has had a ton of great leads on jobs and I know he's very nervous but I know God's going to put him in the right place.  Please make sure you send up an extra prayer for him as he has his first couple interviews tomorrow. He's worked so hard at the computer (6-8 hours a day) chasing leads and applying and making calls. 

So Blessing #1 - My amazing husband.  Did I mention tomorrow is our second anniversary???  We may not be recreating last year's extravagant Florida celebration but we'll be together and after the last few weeks I'll happily take that and run with it!!! Florida can wait until fall break when it's cooler! :)

Blessing #2 - Our great friends and family who have supported us like the Barons and Harts and so many more like the Reeds, Arch, Jen, Michelle, the Steeles, my Mommy, and so many more who have called with tips, advice, made calls for us, prayed, etc.  There are simply too many of you to mention!!

Blessing #3 - Ellie!!! 'Nough said.  She could make a rock smile.

Blessing #4 - Companies who've helped us reduce some bills and my upcoming summer Bridges check!  Woot!

... and soooooo many more because God is good!!!

Well that's a novel I've written so I shall call it a day!!! Until next time friends! Thanks for tuning in and I can't wait to update you on how our tiny plate plan is working!!!

Saturday, June 15, 2013


Hello out there world:)

Well it's been a week since I last wrote.  And what a week it's been.  I am still eating WAY way less but I'm still not doing a good enough job of eating the right things and I have to get better at that without the aid of the phentermine. More on that later.

I can tell my tummy is shrinking which is step one.  Now I need to eat better.  Sugar is not my issue.  Carbs that convert to sugar are the devil.  Conquering them is step two.  Step three: I still need to get my butt moving.  I love to walk, but as per any Tennessee spring, it went from 70 degrees to 100 degrees overnight and I am only motivated to walk to my mailbox and back when it's oppressive heat like that.  So I need to get back on the elliptical and back to zumba in my living room. It's quite a wake up call when to get life insurance the company wants to send someone to your house for vitals and bloodwork. Geesh.

So why only one month on the phentermine? Simple: money

I'm a stress eater and these next few weeks will be a big test for me in that department.  You see at 9am this morning, right before Mark left for work, his supervisor called.  As of today, yep... TODAY, there are no more Gold Buying Centers... period.  He was asked to come in and turn in the key and break down the computer and that's it.  No warning, no prep time, and smack in the midst of trying to regroup after the worst financial year of our lives...WHAM! We're screwed.  But hopefully not for long.  Mark thinks this will be the start of bigger and better things and his confidence is making me more confident... but the worry wart in me is still freaking out about losing our spot at Ellie's daycare and managing to pay bills. And the life insurance we just bought will have to go as well. But I have to give this to God, keep working hard, and trust that whether it's pretty or not, we'll come out on the other side of this at some point.  Anyone have some winning lotto numbers they want to part with in the meantime?  :)

That's all for now.  This hit to us does not mean I'm throwing in the towel... just means that it's going to be more of a challenge.  Here we go!!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Week 1 Over Half Done

Hello out there!

Let's start with Mr. Murphy and get the small amount of suck out of the way early shall we.  The lawnmower does not look good.  Fingers crossed the small engine mechanic looking at it tomorrow will discover my husband and our friends who've looked at it were horribly wrong and it will cost like 5 bucks.  I can dream right?  The dryer was one hundred and fifty freakin dollars!!! (Like how I typed that out for emphasis?) So in the land of improving our finances, Murphy and his stupid law can bite my big toe!  I'm over them right now!  I recently told a friend that if you follow bad or sad news or thoughts with a smiley face, no one can accuse you of being Debbie Downer.  So :) :) :) :)

The upside:  We started Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University this week.  I went to the first class for both of us last night.  We have SO FAR to go but I really think his system makes a lot of sense so I'm committed to trying it on the basis of one quote from his lecture; "We're not selling microwaves, we are in the crock pot business."  I'm writing that down EVERYWHERE to remind myself not to be impatient.  The program is honest and it's meant to be permanent not quick! You see I'm a fixer so I like to clean up messes as quickly as possible.  We didn't spend ourselves under debt mountain in a day and it will take us a while to dig out but we are diggin and making better choices. I just have to remember it's about being the best us and not keeping up with the Jones's.

Now for what you've all been waiting for:

So how's the phentermine going?  Well I'm not any skinnier but I am less hungry!  I've been trying to consciously make positive choices every day and I've had a couple of setbacks, but I'm eating better and WAY WAY less!  Yay!  Now to bring the exercise portion of this up to par.  I've been counting my pool time a little more heavily this week than I should.  I mean come's summer!!  A girl's gotta get in the pool!!  But if you just stand in the pool it hardly counts as exercise.  My mouth moved a lot while talking to the other girls in and around the pool, and my fingers worked very hard squeezing the trigger of the water guns I found, but I don't think that burns a whole bunch of calories. I'll have to look it up to double check.  :)  Again, a girl can dream! 

I'm just proud of myself for not making multiple trips to the junkfood aisle as we've gotten craptacular news about the mower and dryer.  I've always been a stress eater.  It's not that I eat tons, but when I'm stressed I make poor choices about what I eat.  I know that's a fairly common struggle.  So the game plan is to continue to NOT stress eat and amp up the exercise.  I have a feeling that the healthier I feel the easier this will get!  On to the weekend! 

Thanks for reading!!!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Day 1 - Live From the Trenches

Ok.  So today was officially the first day of public attempts at life change.  Successful? Eh. Not too bad I suppose.

Here's the deal:

When I went to talk to my general practitioner a couple of weeks ago (thank you peak of allergy season), he and I discussed the fact that he had never fought for me to lose weight, just agreed it would be a good idea, because my numbers all rocked.  But he could see how concerned I was with getting healthy and we agreed taking a few more pounds off was a great way to do it.  So he suggested we try an experiment.  With my work schedule this summer and Ellie's daycare schedule, I have plenty of time for small workouts four to five days a week.  He asked if I had ever considered Phentermine as a way to augment my progress.  I have NEVER used any get skinny quick products to my knowledge other than a brief and rather unsuccessful attempt at Medifast (I like food faaaaar to much for starving) and Weight Watchers (points counting was too much pressure and made the good foods rewards which meant I craved them more). Oh alright... I did at one time by one of those stupid battery powered belts that were supposed to work out your abs while you went about your day.  Hang on to your hats as this is a shocker... it didn't work and felt as stupid as it now sounds!   Anyway... I digress. 

We talked about the medicine at length.  I explained I'd been most successful just eating smart, avoiding preservatives and unneccessary carbs, and working out.  He said this was PERFECT!  If I could do the phentermine for June and MAYBE July this summer ONLY, it may help kick start my progress and keep me motivated.  So today was day 1.  And you know what... I actually was less hungry and ate less, which was either the med or my desperate attempt to believe it was the med as it cost me 32 freakin dollars!! (Ok. It cost Mark 32 freakin dollars but what's mine is mine and what's his is mine, right? :) And Mark and Ellie even went for a walk with me this evening.  It was decidely short but it was our first night and we did it together so I'll take it! Oh and by the way... I didn't get on the scale.  I'll use my last Doc visit weight as my starter.  I'm serious about making this about my health and not a magic goal number.  :)

Now... as for front #2: Money Matters
Well, a few days ago the lawn mower broke - and of course it's not the super simple fix we hoped for although hopefully it won't be too bad.  Then today the Dryer (less than 3 years old - Grrr) broke - and of course it's not the super simple fix we hoped for although hopefully it won't be too bad.  And the hospital called to say they had reevaluated our insurance coverage of Ellie's hospital stay and of course it's not the super simple fix we hoped for and I owe them another 150 buckeroonis.  So after one day during which we carefully planned meals and bought groceries we've actually succeeded at taking 9 steps backwards.  Seriously!?!  I can't help but laugh at this point.  As my boss ALWAYS says, "It is what it is" and it's not like we're in danger of losing a roof over our heads or not buying Ellie what she needs as of yet, so we'll just keep plugging.  I have to believe we will dig ourselves out... it's just going to take a while.  :)

Even with the financial debacle full of potential impending doom to our budget... I'll call today a win. 

I'll post again after another few days or if anything interesting happens! 

Thanks to the few of you who are reading this and keeping me honest.  Feel free to share it! 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Here We Go!

Well here we go! 

I haven't really written anything for anyone but me to read in a long time, but I decided to create this blog as a sort of online accountability partner so I hope a few of you out there will follow it and keep me honest!

I'm a fairly new mom (my little one is 4 months old) and I'm fat.  It's ok.  I always have been...since about age 6 I guess.  I'm also broke.  It's ok.  I always have been.  ha ha!

As for the first problem, I'm actually already 20 pounds lighter than when I got pregnant with Ellie.  But I'm struggling with a rather vexing problem:  If I'm lighter than before, why don't my dang pants fit right?? My shape has changed drastically and I don't like it.  I don't mind being bigger.  When you have been your whole life you sort of get over it and move on to more pressing issues.  I've never minded because I've always been perfectly healthy!  Scoff if you must but it's true!  I've had perfect blood pressure, blood sugar, and perfect cholesterol forever.  But my doctor called and after having Ellie, I've become borderline diabetic.  With a family history of diabetes on both sides this is an issue I figured I'd have to deal with at some point but now that it's a reality... I'm mad!  I don't want to have any health issues while Ellie is growing up.  I want to be around to enjoy my grandkids... and since I'm an older mom to begin with, I need to get with it.  So this is not a blog about my attempts to get skinny!! Get real and get over it!  I am who I am and that's all that I am. (Thanks Popeye!) This is about getting healthy and my attempts to do so.

It's about a little more as well.  At the same time I am trying to get healthy, I'll be trying to do it on an extreme budget.  I'm not really sure what happened.  I left my 20's with a big fat savings account, took vacations wherever in the world I wanted, and had almost no bills.  And now... I live paycheck to paycheck, pray we have no extra bills come up to throw off my careful balancing act, and owe EVERYONE money!  So what happened???  In short: We were idiots!  Big, huge idiots.  I want my old bank account back and I'm going to try to get it. 

So this is a multi-purpose blog.  I hope you'll read along while Mark and I try to straighten priorities and straighten our waist lines.  :)  I have big plans!  Now let's see if I can follow through!  :) :)